Marine Biology

, Volume 94, Issue 4, pp 579–587 | Cite as

Discriminate feeding of the calanoid copepod Acartia clausi in mixtures of phytoplankton and inert particles

  • T. Ayukai


Adult female Acartia clausi were allowed to feed in the laboratory on each of three algae, the small green alga Dunaliella tertiolecta (5.6 μm ESD), the diatoms Thalassiosira decipiens (13.4 μm ESD) and T. nordenskioldii (17.7 μm ESD), singly or in mixtures with polystyrene beads (15.7 μm ESD). The ingestion rate on beads was much lower than that on cells, even when the supply of beads was one order of magnitude higher than that of cells. Beads offered singly were not ingested. In the experiments with T. nordenskioldii, the more cells adult females ingested, the higher the ingestion rate on beads. In addition, a linear regression equation describing the relationship between bead concentration and ratio of ingested beads to ingested cells was highly significant. These results suggest that beads are ingested by chance in feeding bouts on T. nordenskioldii. The bead interference on the ingestion rate on cells was observed in the experiments with D. tertiolecta and T. decipiens, but not with T. nordenskioldii. In a mixture of beads and T. decipiens, juvenile A. clausi discriminated beads from cells more successfully than adults. The presence of beads did not affect the ingestion rate of juveniles on cells. Starved adult females tended to ingest more beads than well fed individuals. The possible effects of body size and hunger on the discriminate feeding of copepods are discussed.


Linear Regression Phytoplankton Body Size Polystyrene Ingestion Rate 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Ayukai
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of AgricultureTohoku UniversitySendai, Miyagi PrefectureJapan

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